Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Michigan Supreme Court Affirms that Lying About Being Armed While Attempting To Commit A Robbery Is The Same As Attempting An Armed Robbery

An interesting opinion from the Michigan Supreme Court:

Glenn Terrance Williams tried to rob a smoke shop (a day after he robbed a gas station) by claiming he had a firearm.

The clerk didn't believe him, and he left the store empty handed and was then caught, as is typical for stupid criminals.

He ended up being pleading to and being convicted of attempted armed robbery.

But that's an impossibility you say? He wasn't armed and thus couldn't have attempted such?

Not so fast sayeth the Court, and quite rightly so:

At his plea allocution, defendant admitted that he assaulted, or otherwise used the threat of force or violence against, the clerk in “the course of committing a larceny” of the tobacco shop. Defendant admitted that it was his intent to rob the clerk of the tobacco shop’s money. It also was established at defendant’s plea hearing that at the time of the robbery defendant intimated that he had a dangerous weapon, both by verbally alluding to this fact and by placing his hand under his clothing so as to represent that he was armed with a weapon. Even though defendant was unsuccessful in obtaining money, his attempt to complete a larceny while representing that he was armed with a dangerous weapon satisfied MCL 750.529. Accordingly, the facts elicited at the plea allocution were sufficient to sustain defendant’s conviction for armed robbery, and the circuit court did not err by denying defendant’s motion to withdraw that plea.

The court also does an interesting analysis that Michigan no longer requires a completed larceny to take place in order for the crime of robbery to occur.

The decision certainly makes sense - if a criminal intimates they have a weapon, the victim should be able to rely on their claim, and act accordingly. The penalty for claiming such certainly should be as if they are in fact armed to prevent criminals from making such claims and causing dangerous situations.

As a result, William's first attempt at a release from prison will be in February 2031.

1 comment:

ProudHillbilly said...

That's hysterical - the "stupid penalty" well applied.